Michigan State falls 9-6 in a 12-inning thriller

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MSU catcher Adam Proctor in the batter’s box/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Owen Oszust, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — History was made from the senior pitcher Sam Benschoter when he pitched 9.1 innings out of the bullpen and struck out an MSU record 17 batters in one game, but it wasn’t enough as the Spartans dropped the series to Nebraska on Sunday.

When the game started, it seemed as though MSU was going to be blown out. The Spartans’ redshirt sophomore starting pitcher, Wyatt Rush, couldn’t get out of the first inning, giving up three runs and only retiring two batters.

The Cornhuskers then continued to extend their lead by scoring three more runs in the second frame, courtesy of a Cam Chick RBI double and a Max Anderson two RBI single giving Nebraska a 6-0 lead heading to the bottom of the second inning.

 A Spartan offense that had badly needed to find their stride got a huge RBI single from their junior catcher, Adam Proctor. Then, sophomore outfielder Reese Trahey pinch hit and had a two RBI single to the left side to split the Nebraska lead in half at 6-3.

With more work to do, the MSU lineup went back to work in the bottom of the third inning. With two runners on, the freshman shortstop Trent Farquhar laced a two RBI double down the right field line and was able to get all the way to third on a throwing error. Then, sophomore left fielder Casey Maze hit a sacrifice fly to center field that Farquhar was able to score the tying run on.

Benschoter had everything working his entire performance all the way until the 12th inning where his pitch count was well above 100 pitches. A throwing error from redshirt freshman catcher Gabe Sotres got Nebraka’s Spencer Swellenbach all the way to third on a stolen base attempt. Anderson struck again, driving in the go-ahead run to give the Cornhuskers back the lead.

Eefry Cervantes had a clutch two RBI single that basically sealed the game at that point. Swellenbach was able to shut down the Spartans in the bottom of the frame, giving him his first win of the season.

With the loss, the Spartans fall to 12-17 on the season and will be back in action Friday at University Park to take on Penn State for a three-game series.